Category Archives: Kalerine (“Michelle”)

Sociopathic Blindness (A letter to my father)


I’ve been crying on and off for many hours today. I wish you could see and understand why. I wish you could see how far-reaching your actions are. I wish I could open your sociopathic eyes and you could really see the damage you’ve done. But therein lies the problem: you are a sociopath. You don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. But I wish so much that I could pry your mind open so your eyes and your heart could see.

I wish you could see how much your entire family struggles because of your actions. Your brother has lost his faith, one of your sisters was nearly homeless at one point even while she was critically ill. Your oldest two children unable to work, one (me) directly because of what you did, the other indirectly. I can’t say anything about your two younger children because they chose to remove themselves from my life—due to your actions. All five of your grandchildren are struggling. Two have been homeless, another is on the verge of it. One is on disability directly because of your actions. One of your grandchildren has no money for food and is immobilized by depression and anxiety so hasn’t applied for food stamps. He’s so immobilized that he doesn’t care if he has no food and actually considers it to be a possible means of suicide, just letting himself fade away. Today I especially wish you could see that! I wish you could see how scary it is for this mother to see her child in such a horrifying place in life.

I wish you could see how your actions ripple out to those around us. My ex-husband and his family, my current husband and his family. My friends—and for a couple of them, their families. My therapist, who has cried for me on numerous occasions. People who treat our bodies and our minds. Your actions affect people in this community, this state, this entire country who have never met any of us—every person in this country who pays taxes so your children and grandchildren have shelter and food and a meager existence.

I wish you could see how ridiculous it is, how ridiculous it often feels to be proud that I haven’t been in the hospital in years and haven’t cut or burned or been in respite in over a year. I wish you could see how much I struggle just to make sure my top two priorities in life right now happen: eating a clean, wholesome, healthy diet and getting out for a walk every day. Some days I can still barely manage much more than that. I shouldn’t be reveling in not cutting myself when things feel so out of control. I shouldn’t be reveling in crossing off every item on my piddly daily list of tasks. I should be reveling in attending my 100th, 300th, 500th birth. I should be reveling in the way my fruit and vegetable garden would be looking this time of year. I should be reveling in the amazing things my children should be able to do.

I wish you could see the pain in our lives and on our faces. I wish you could have seen me sobbing uncontrollably at times today, and sighing and shuddering still, tears in my eyes. I wish you could have seen my husband trying to console me, holding me and asking if there was anything he could do. I wish you could read the words of my two best friends as they offered their love and support online today.

But even if you were right here with us you wouldn’t see it. Your sociopathic brain will never let you believe you’ve done anything wrong or see the damage that wrong has done. But really, the saddest thing is that you also don’t get to see how we are all moving forward in life. You don’t get to see your third grandson learning a trade he enjoys. You don’t get to see me healing so much that I can think about ending therapy, that even when the thought of harming myself shows up I refuse to do it because I know it makes things worse and it lets you win. You don’t get to see your son’s amazing faith in God in spite of all the damage you’ve done. You don’t get to feel the relief I have knowing that even though one of my children doesn’t even care if he eats, his brother is starting to be a productive, happy person. The very saddest thing is that you don’t get to see us live.

Edited to add: I can’t believe I made it through all that without crying! All day the post was writing itself in my head and I kept crying over what I might write. I’m really thankful not to be in tears again.

Growth in Dreams


Yesterday morning I had a dream that I’d say was a breakthrough. I dreamed that my former stepmother had me come up to her house (her house, not their house) to take care of some kids while she and some other women did something. (Co-workers for a meeting? I don’t think I ever knew, and now the dream is even sketchier in my head.) There was the usual theme of looking around the (a) house. She was showing me changes she’d made now that my father wasn’t around. (Now that he wasn’t around!) I was impressed not only with some of the changes but with the way she was able to turn the house of hell into her own space, her own dream home. I can’t remember much more than that but I do remember being very aware in the dream that it wasn’t my father’s house at all anymore and that he wasn’t going to be there.

This is a big change! So many dreams of being at that house or someone else’s and he would be there and no one else saw any problem with that. All those dreams with that going on, then the one about a month ago where I thought about pushing him into the rushing creek next to the house and it was implied that I did that. And now being at the house and it wasn’t his in any way and he wasn’t there or going to be there because he wasn’t supposed to be there! It do consider it a bad dream/nightmare because it unsettled me pretty badly. (My therapist and I decided that even if I dream doesn’t have me waking up gasping or something similar it’s still a nightmare because it’s so very unsettling.) And I got triggered by several things during the day and was quite dissociative at times, but it was still a dream of growth. And even though I’m feeling anxious right now telling you about the dream, I’m thrilled to be telling you.

It amazes me how much growth can be seen in dreams!

Five Years


Today is my father’s arrest anniversary for the heinous things he did to my niece. It feels more like a non-event to me than anything, really. I do think working up to this day probably has a lot to do with some rapid switching that’s been going on, though. Even though the day feels so much less heavy, we do feel it. Fairly often these days, I find myself wishing he would just pass away so I could find out if there is a trust fund set up for me. I don’t want him to die some horrible death, I just wish he wasn’t around anymore, with or without a trust fund.

Anyway, I’m really proud of how far I—we—have come in the past five years. Even though it’s more like a movie in my head these days, I can still remember the moment that night when my brother said he knew our father had hurt me as well as my niece. I can see the the floor rushing up to me as I collapsed in a sobbing heap, recognizing my truth instantly. I can hear my brother’s voice, feel his arm around me. I can hear him telling the other people in the room to come to me, come support me. And they did. That night five years ago it felt like my world was shattering and falling together all at once.

So much has happened in these five years. So many changes. I’m much more whole than I ever was before I started remembering things, because I can work through the truth and heal from it. The truth can be hard to face but I’m a better person know that I know it and can work through it as it smacks me in the face. As the saying goes, we’ve come a long way, baby. It’s hard not to think of how far it seems there is to go, but I’m thankful for what I’ve got so far.

It Is What It Is (But I Don’t Have to Like It)


I woke up with a nasty headache and haven’t been able to shake it. I just feel kind of cruddy in general, physically (damn fibro and all that goes with it). And I’m having one of those rough “This is not what I signed up for when I married DH” times. I seriously considered staying in bed today because I feel so sad and depressed about it. But as I laid there thinking about doing that, I was also able to tell myself that staying in bed wouldn’t change anything. DH would still be DH. I would still wish for something better. The menu and grocery list would still need to be done. I would still have to be responsible for everything. So here I am. I feel like crying and want to go back to bed but the fact is that the menu and grocery list have to be done. If I don’t do it we won’t have enough money for food by our next grocery day. So I’ll do it and hopefully can come out of this funk sooner than later.

Last night I actually thought about trying to put money aside so I could move out someday. It would take years to save enough for a deposit and everything. And I always have lots of thoughts like “What would be the point of moving? Then I’d be alone and it’s not very likely I’d ever find someone again. Who’s gonna want a fat, not pretty gal who is multiple and has been on disability for 17 years?” Sometimes I feel trapped. I know I could walk out the door right now if I wanted to but I have no idea where I would go. The money is technically in DH’s name. I technically have $1 of income. And we’d have to prove we lived separately before I could get my own money back where it should be. See why I feel trapped sometimes?

I feel exhausted and achy and cruddy but I need to get my act together and start the menu and grocery list. Somehow I need to get past thinking so much about having to do it because I’m the one who has to be responsible for everything. I’m not doing it because I have to be responsible for everything, I’m doing it because I want to make healthy meals and stick to a budget. There we got, that’s better. Healthy meals for me without spending too much money. That’s what I’m going with.

I know my life with DH is what is it is, but why can’t I just be okay with that? I hate this.

Ashes, Ashes…


This evening I was putting some laundry away after having a rather immobilized day. Out of the blue the words to a nursery rhyme came to me: “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!” I don’t know where it came from but it fits so well these days. At times lately I honestly feel like I’m just going to drop from stressors that are hitting me. I keep making it through but I really want to drop sometimes. And thinking about how I keep making it through each day, sometimes each hour, occasionally each minute, made me realize how much I really have risen from the ashes of my father’s arrest and my own version of Pandora’s box flying open that night nearly five years ago. I still have some of the same things going on but I deal with them in healthier and more constructive ways.

The past couple of days I’ve felt tired, sad, emotional, sometimes downright immobilized. Even though I know there are very valid reasons for this, it frustrates me and makes me feel weak. I find myself thinking, “Come on, get it together, just get up out of your chair.” Sometimes I simply can’t move myself. Then someone (hello, Robert) takes off with that and will rant and rave about how weak I am. This really doesn’t help one tiny bit. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and also making it clear to Robert that gentleness is what we need, not berating. Some moments are better than others, that’s for sure. I had plans for this week that are pretty well derailed but after two days of immobilization, I’m letting that be. The fridge will still be there to be cleaned. The carpet cleaner is “ours” for as long as we need it. That Valentine craft project can wait–we have Valentine’s Day every year, plus I did finish the one that was most important to me. DH has become quite adept at making simple meals for dinner. I refuse to put life on hold completely but I can be gentle with myself and work through the immobilization, the sadness, the fatigue. Much better to be gentle than all fall down.

The Good, Good Life is Just a Dream Away


Several mornings ago I had a dream that, thankfully, I was able to write down after I woke up. Considering that my father’s arrest anniversary is in a  month, the dream isn’t all that surprising. It contained several recurring elements.

I was at what is now my former stepmother’s (STM) home for a get-together with some of my family and some of her family. It felt awkward at first since it was the first time seeing STM or her family since my father was arrested. One of STM’s sisters was talking to me, asking how I was and such. We were getting food on the table for a big meal.

It was as if my father were dead. STM’s sister or someone from her family handed me a box of pictures and mementos. I was triggered and intrigued at the same time. The person said, “He wanted you to have these.” I wanted to look through them but I knew I might fall apart so I set them aside for later. There were also Christmas gifts that STM’s sister was handing out. My younger half-brother was there but I didn’t have a chance to talk to him at all.

At some point I was outside helping my grandmother navigate some rough terrain to the door of the house. She surprised me by being able to handle it even though she purposely made it look to people like she couldn’t do such things.

Then my father showed up. As usual, it phased no one but me. He seemed pretty pleased with himself to not be in prison when he knew I thought he still should be. He was proudly showing me improvements they’d made on the house.

We were standing on a porch that went over a rushing creek. There was no rail on the porch yet. Amazingly, I wasn’t afraid of the water. I kept wishing he’d fall in the water and drown, as I’d seen about someone on a news story recently. Then I was watching him fall off the porch and hitting his head on a rock in the creek. The water was no longer rushing; it was was now just meandering. I watched to see if he’d get up. When he didn’t, I watched to see if the water was deep enough to cover his face. (He was lying flat on his back.) When I was satisfied that the water sufficiently covered his face, I turned around and left. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened because I wasn’t sure if I had pushed him or not. When someone asked if I knew where he was I said I hadn’t seen him. My actions (and inactions) definitely made it seem like I had pushed him into the creek.

I think the most bizarre thing about this dream is how detached I’ve felt from it. It’s obviously a disturbing dream, yet I didn’t wake up afraid or even unsettled like I normally would. I still feel quite detached from it. When I woke up and was able to write the dream down I was quite dissociative, trapped in derealization. While I jotted down the dream my cat Abi came to me and was rather insistent on nudging me, licking and nibbling my fingers, licking my face. She only licks my face when she knows something is wrong. I shooed her away and wrote this:

“Having one of those moments where I wonder if I’m in a dream. Is Abi really in my lap purring or am I dreaming it? Is she really almost six years old with her six-year-old kitty face in my hands or am I dreaming that she grew up? Is she only a dream?!  Is she really real? Am I going to wake up and find out she never existed?”

The derealization as well as depersonalization and just not feeling all here have been quite bothersome lately. Either I was dealing with this less for a while or I’m really noticing it these days. It makes perfect sense that it’s happening but it’s unsettling. Even though the dream has not felt that way. It worries me in a way, if that makes any sense. What I do know is that I’m going to lie down to sleep soon and I really hope I don’t have an unsettling dream. Or one that isn’t when it seems like it should be.

**Props to anyone who knows the song reference in the title. Without Googling. ;-)

Birthday + Anniversary = Varying Degrees of Chaos


I’ve been wanting to write but have a hard time churning out posts like some of you do. And sometimes I feel like what I have to say doesn’t matter. I know what you’re thinking and what some of you will probably say: that anything I have to say is worthwhile. There’s been a lot of feeling inadequate and less than others lately and it spills out into my blogging. I see some of you writing about therapy and healing and my words feel inconsequential before they even hit the page. But at least I can identify that a lot of this is feeling below you all. And I know it has to do with the title of this post.

My mother’s birthday is in a couple days. Even though our brief attempt at reconnecting didn’t work out for me, I still wish that I could write to her and tell her I want the best for her and that I hope she has a lovely birthday. I can’t do that because I can’t deal with the possibility of her starting to write letters again and the craziness that comes with that. But I honestly do hope her birthday is special. She had her faults and could definitely be abusive, but I extend far more grace than my brother seems to be willing to do, because I know she was abused and victimized growing up and then with my father. I’m sending you peace, PSD. You deserve that.

And then there’s the upcoming anniversary that has been causing so much chaos for us lately. In a month it will be five years since my father’s arrest for hurting my niece. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. He has been out of our life for five years! And yet he’s still so very present. The anniversary discombobulates us in general but it also has a few of us very much not okay. Robert has made physical threats toward this body, both regarding self injury and worse. Rhiannon is filled with guilt about not taking care of him “properly” and well enough to keep him from harming my niece and therefore getting arrested. She’s also stuck in one of her cycles of feeling like she’s not taking care of DH well enough, since taking care of the men in her life is her job, but also sad that it’s her lot in life to do this. And then she feels guilty for thinking such a thing when taking care of the men in her life is her job. *sigh* She’s actually considered purging since it’s a way she can have control over something. That is something we absolutely need to avoid since 1) it can spiral out of control so quickly, and 2) purging makes the gag reflex go into hyperdrive for us and the simple act of coughing turns into a mad dash for the bathroom.

Lately there’s so much desire from a handful of us to do some sort of damage to the body that I’m finding it harder and harder to keep everyone under control. I think about respite and even the hospital. If Robert goes beyond just berating me and threatening dire harm and starts making plans, I will be booking it to the ER and requesting a psych bed. It feels overwhelming to have to take care of everything like this. I don’t quite know how to delegate responsibility. How on earth do you delegate responsibility?!

There are things I want and need to be doing with myself and all of this chaos is making it rather difficult. Everything is so up and down.  I am–we all are–having a harder and harder time tolerating it. Just keep swimming, right?

Thankful on Thursday


I know it’s technically Friday now but it’s still Thursday “night” so here I am.

Today I’m thankful that even though most people I know can run circles around me in daily life, I was still able to cross off most of the items on my to-do list. A couple of days ago Nataly asked her readers what we are going to do with our “one beautiful life.” Beautiful life, indeed! My reply was that I want to quit whining about limitations I have and do even tiny things. Better anything than nothing at all. Sure, I have plenty of limitations in different ways, but I can always do something. So today I did. And I will again tomorrow. And the next day. And every day. I will make my to-do list a bit ambitious because as I cross things off, it not only means something was accomlished, it makes me want to accomplish even more. Even when other people are running circles around me.

Do what you can do and be proud!

Inspirationally Speaking, New Year’s Edition


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~ I’ve seen this quote attributed to at least two people. What I can definitively say is that I didn’t write it. ;-)

We’re entering a new year in a couple days! I can honestly say 2012 has been the best year of my life so far. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some major struggles, but I feel like things are coming more together for me and us. Our system is, in general, more settled as we work out how to deal with each challege that comes up.

I do have some hopes for the new year.

  • I hope to put aside $20 a month at least 8 months out of the year. (If my glasses break or we have a kitty vet emergency, we’re in deep trouble.)
  • I hope to keep doing light exercise 4-5 days a week, either walking somewhere or one of our senior chair exercise DVDs.
  • I hope to find ways to eat better that don’t require too much standing in the kitchen since I never know how I’ll feel from day to day. I’m thinking a simple but healthy soup once a week–minestrone, chicken & rice with lots of carrots, taco soup with plenty of veggies, etc.
  • I hope to reconnect with my aunts and also my niece and nephews. I want this so much but am pretty nervous about it. More about that in another post.
  • I hope to craft some sort of “advent” calendar-type of thing for December.
  • I hope to learn more about Paganism and similar beliefs that I and several of the others feel connected to. We want to bring this more into our daily life.

I know there are other hopes but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment and feel the most important.

Whatever your situation at the moment, I’m wishing you all a new year filled with amazing things that you might not even be thinking of. I wish you all peace and happiness. I wish that the new year will bring you new life, new energy.

New Life2
I’m in love with this gorgeous “New Life” print by JasmineCheri!

Thankful on Thursday


Christmas is past–I hope you all made it through okay.

Today I’m thankful that I made it through Christmas amazingly well. Yes, some stuff caught up to us, but all in all, things were good. It was another year of reinventing, recreating, and that worked so well for us and DH. We had less trouble than last year and what a difference that makes. It was neat to start a couple new traditions and also think about what I’d like to do differently next year. The best part was having both my sons here for the first time in five years. I am blessed.

You made it through the holiday! Revel in that!